Winners of 50th BPG Awards Announced Today

Happy Valley picks up Best Drama Series, Best Actress and Best Writer awards as Ken Bruce takes Best Audio Presenter trophy

 

The gripping final series of Happy Valley won three major prizes at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards today as BPG members and leaders of the UK’s TV, streaming and audio industries celebrated the BPG’s 50th anniversary with a gala lunch in London.

The BBC One programme’s star Sarah Lancashire won the Best Actress Award, while Happy Valley was also commended for Best Drama Series and Best Writer for Sally Wainwright.

Other major winners were the phenomenal ITV hit Mr Bates vs The Post Office starring Toby Jones and Monica Dolan which took home a BPG Jury Prize; and Andy Harries who was presented with the Harvey Lee Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting in honour of his remarkable near-50 years of producing landmark TV programmes such as The Crown, The Royle Family and Cracker.

Elsewhere, Gary Oldman took the Best Actor trophy for his role in Slow Horses on Apple+ and the final series of Ghosts on BBC One was voted Best Comedy. In a very competitive category, Squid Game: The Challenge took the honours as Best Entertainment show, while series 2 of the BBC One series Time written by Jimmy McGovern and Helen Black won for Best Single Drama or Mini Series.

The two documentary trophies went to Channel 4’s Russell Brand: In Plain Sight – Dispatches as Best Documentary Mini Series and BBC One’s Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland for Best Documentary Series (4+ episodes). 

Manori Ravindran, the chair of the BPG, said: “To have such a list of worthy and talented winners to celebrate our 50th anniversary is very fitting because our members take great pride in honouring the very best programmes and people.”

The 50th BPG Television, Streaming & Audio Awards were given for work commissioned or produced in the UK and screened in 2023. These prizes are highly valued by programme-makers because they are chosen independently by TV and audio writers, correspondents and critics.

The Broadcasting Press Guild marks its 50th anniversary this year and the Guild is delighted that this special occasion is sponsored by some of the most influential names in the industry: BBC Studios, Netflix, Pact, Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery. 

The BPG began in 1974 and, as part of its celebrations, invited its members to select a list of the Top 50 Landmark TV Programmes. Full details are on the Guild’s website http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org.

This year, the BPG Executive Committee handed out a pair of BPG Jury Prizes for the first time. They went to ITV’s spectacular drama series about the worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history, Mr Bates vs The Post Office; and Goalhanger Podcasts for their unparalleled achievements in the world of podcasting. Also the gifts of the BPG Executive Committee, the BPG Breakthrough Award went to the gifted actor David Jonsson for his special performance in Agatha Christie’s Murder Is Easy and the BPG Emerging Creators Award was picked up by social media influencer and presenter GK Barry.

The three Audio Awards were for Radio Programme of the Year which went to David Aaronovitch’s The Briefing Room (BBC Radio 4 & BBC Sounds) for its deep dives into big issues of the day; Best Podcast winner which was Movers and Shakers (Podot) in which six friends including Jeremy Paxman talked honestly and movingly about living with Parkinson’s disease; and to Ken Bruce who won Audio Presenter of the Year after his highly successful move to Greatest Hits Radio last year.

Simon O’Hagan, chair of the audio jury, said: “At a time when the audio industry bursts with intelligence and innovation, our winners managed to stand out from the rest last year and are all very deserving of their prizes.”

The annual BPG Awards winners are also announced today via the BPG Twitter account @BPGPressAwards.

Further information: Adrian Lobb, BPG, 07986 379 452 & adrianlobb1@gmail.com.

 

Notes to editors

  1. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 110 members who are journalists specialising in covering television, streaming, radio, podcasts and the media. They include critics, previewers, media correspondents and feature writers from national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals and online publishers.
  2. In addition to the annual invitation-only lunch, attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives, the awards were announced at the same time on Twitter/X and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bpgpressguild @BPGPressGuild #BPGAwards at lunchtime on Thursday March 21st 2024. Details of the nominations and previous BPG awards can be found at http://broadcastingpressguild.org, together with pictures, videos and a history of the Guild.
  3. Harvey Lee – in honour of whom our Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award is named – was a leading light of the BPG, who died at the tragically early age of 41. The award for outstanding achievement has been given in his memory every year since every year since 1992. Previous winners are named on our website: http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/bpgawards/harvey-lee/
  4. The two Jury Prizes, the Breakthrough Award, the Emerging Creators Award, and the Harvey Lee Award were decided by the BPG Executive Committee. All other BPG prizes were voted for by Guild members.
  5. BBC Studios, Netflix, Pact, Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery are supporters of this year’s Awards (see below for more details).

 

The full list of this year’s BPG TV, Streaming and Audio Awards Winners are:

 

Best Documentary Mini Series 1-3 episodes

Russell Brand: In Plain Sight – Dispatches (Hardcash Productions for Channel 4’s Dispatches)

 

Best Documentary Series 4+ episodes

Once Upon A Time in Northern Ireland (KEO Films and Walk on Air Films for BBC One)

 

Best Comedy

Ghosts (Monumental Television in Association with Them There for BBC One)

 

Best Entertainment

Squid Game: The Challenge (A Studio Lambert and The Garden production for Netflix)

 

Best Drama Mini Series 1-3 episodes

Time (BBC Studios Drama for BBC One)

 

Best Drama Series 4+ episodes

Happy Valley (Lookout Point in co-production with AMC for BBC One)

 

Best Actress

Sarah Lancashire – Happy Valley (Lookout Point in co-production with AMC for BBC One)

 

Best Actor

Gary Oldman – Slow Horses (A See-Saw Films production for Apple TV+)

 

Best Writer

Sally Wainwright – Happy Valley (Lookout Point in co-production with AMC for BBC One)

 

BPG Breakthrough Talent Award

David Jonsson – Agatha Christie’s Murder Is Easy (BBC One)

 

BPG Emerging Creators Award

GK Barry

 

Radio Programme of the Year

The Briefing Room (A BBC production for BBC Radio 4)

 

Best Podcast

Movers and Shakers (A Podot production)

 

Audio Presenter of the Year

Ken Bruce on Greatest Hits Radio, a production of Bauer Media Audio UK

 

BPG Jury Prize for Audio

Goalhanger Podcasts

 

BPG Jury Prize for Television

Mr Bates vs The Post Office (ITV Studios and Little Gem for ITV)

 

Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting

Andy Harries

 

Note to Editors: Information about our sponsors

BBC Studios is a world-renowned content studio and channels & streaming business, powered by British creativity, with a reach that touches audiences in every corner of the globe. BBC Studios is sponsoring the BPG Awards Red Carpet.

Netflix is one of the world’s leading entertainment services with over 260 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films, and games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can play, pause and resume watching, as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and can change their plans at any time. Netflix is co-sponsor of the BPG Awards Drinks Reception.

Pact is the UK screen sector trade body representing and supporting independent production and distribution companies. Pact is sponsoring the BPG for the second consecutive year and is co-sponsor of the BPG Awards 2024 Drinks Reception.

Prime Video membership provides access to thousands of popular movies, TV shows, award-winning Originals, sports, and exclusive channels like discovery+, STARZPLAY, and Paramount+, with the added benefit of special deals for Prime Video members using the rent and buy feature to access new-release movies and TV series. Prime Video is sponsoring two BPG Talent Awards: BPG Emerging Creators Award and the BPG Breakthrough Award.

Warner Bros. Discovery is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film, streaming and games with globally known brands including CNN, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, Friends, Harry Potter, HBO, TNT Sports. In the UK & Ireland WBD brings audiences 22 linear channels and is the streaming home of factual entertainment and premium sport through discovery+. WBD UK & Ireland is a proud supporter of the BPG Awards for the second consecutive year sponsoring the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.

 

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